Senators introduce bill to improve defenses against quantum computing data breaches

Associated Press/Charles Krupa
U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., during a hearing, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Manchester, N.H.

Senators on Thursday introduced a cybersecurity bill aimed at improving the federal government’s defenses against data breaches enabled by quantum computing.

The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), would require federal agencies to have the most up-to-date cybersecurity protections as quantum computers become highly advanced and widely available. 

“The development of quantum computers is one of the next frontiers in technology, and with this emerging technology comes new risks as well,” Hassan said in a statement. 

The bipartisan bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create guidance for federal agencies to assess critical systems a year after the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issues its planned post-quantum cryptography standards.

The legislation would also direct the OMB to send an annual report to Congress that includes a strategy on how to tackle post-quantum cryptography risk, funding and an analysis on how federal agencies are coordinating and migrating to post-quantum cryptography standards.

The bill follows two directives aimed at advancing quantum technologies that President Biden unveiled in May. Some of the initiatives include positioning the U.S. as a global leader in technology development, encouraging collaboration between the federal government and the private sector, and protecting U.S. technology from theft and abuse.

“Our national security information must remain secure as this technology quickly develops, and it is essential that the federal government is prepared to address cybersecurity concerns,” Hassan added.

Tags Maggie Hassan Quantum computing Rob Portman

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